Sixteen cats and 14 dogs were delivered to the Lake Martin Animal Shelter on Monday evening following an animal cruelty investigation by the Dadeville Police Department and the Village Street pet owners surrendered their animals to authorities.

Lake Martin Animal Shelter director Mia Chandler said the shelter is dealing with a huge influx of animals from the case.

“They said they would have about 20 to start with,” Chandler said. “They just kept coming and coming. We took in 16 cats and 14 dogs. They were pretty unhealthy. The cats were in horrible condition. I was able to save a lot more dogs than cats.”

Dadeville police chief David Barbour said Bobby Wayne Caron, 26, of Dadeville was arrested Monday night and charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of cruelty to animals.

Earlier Monday, Cinde Lorett Caron, 45, Jeremy O’Neal Caron, 27, and Sharon Walker Browning, 63, all of Dadeville, were each charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of cruelty to animals.

Chandler said she could tell when the animals started arriving they were not getting good water.

“They skipped over the fresh food and went straight to the water,” Chandler said. “They just started lapping and lapping it up.”

Chandler said the animals were owner-surrendered meaning the shelter could do more for them immediately.

“We are able to make decisions to best care for the animals,” Chandler said. “About 10 of the cats were kept inside in just small collapsible kennels. They were malnourished, covered in fleas, feces and were just generally in bad shape. Some had large masses. The cats from outside were generally in better shape, I think because they were able to get more to eat.”

Chandler said unfortunately some of the animals have already been put down but she is working hard to save the others.

“A vet came through (Tuesday) morning; it was a normal vet day for us but we also did basic checks on these animals too,” Chandler said. “It hurts when they are in this kind of shape. I want to make them feel good. I can guarantee all the animals here are in a clean area with fresh food and water.”

Chandler said the shelter could use help from the public to help care for the animals and get them to a point where many could be adoptable. She said all of them will have to be fed puppy or kitten food for a while to help with the malnourishment. All will require testing.

“The dogs need to get tested for heartworms,” Chandler said. “The cats have to be tested for feline leukemia and all need fecal analyses and deworming. I have also got to check to make sure they are vaccinated too.”

Chandler said the shelter would be very thankful for puppy and kitten food as well as monetary donations to help take care of all of the testing and other medical needs.

“Some will require surgeries,” Chandler said. “Those can get expensive. I don’t know about the heartworms yet as we await test results but those can be expensive too. We could use some foster homes for those who test positive for heartworms and get treated.”

Barbour said 30 cats and dogs were taken from the Village Street home as were three pigs and a duck. Ferrets and birds were left with others in thehome.

“We took the cats and dogs to the shelter,” Barbour said. “We have placed the pigs and duck. The ferrets and birds were left in place for the time being as there are few options for housing them.”

The animal seizure case started Sunday when the Dadeville Police Department received a call about animal neglect. Barbour said his officers noted animals in poor conditions with no water or food and an appearance of bad health. Monday afternoon, the Dadeville Police Department obtained arrest warrants for the four individuals arrested Monday evening and started transporting animals to the Lake Martin Animal Shelter with assistance from officers with Alexander City Animal Control. Animals taken from the home were chained to trees with bowls of water that had green algae growing in them if it had water. They had no food and were covered in fleas and sores.

Chandler said the goal is to eventually get most of the animals adopted to families vetted by the shelter especially because the shelter population was at 124 animals Tuesday morning.

“I have to get them medically cleared before adoption,” Chandler said. “Some have great personalities, stellar personalities and would make great pets in a forever home.”

Cinde Caron and Browning have been released from the Tallapoosa County Jail on $12,000 bond. Jeremy Caron and Bobby Caron are still being held in the Tallapoosa County Jail and have a $12,000 bond available to them.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.